Our final Friday TED talk: Jason Roberts on how to build a Better Block

Great news! If you haven't yet got hold of tickets for next Thursday's presentation, film and panel discussion by Danish urban expert Jan Gehl, more tickets have just been released.  They might not be the best seats in the gorgeous Hackney Empire Theatre, but it means you will get in to see Professor Gehl present his film, The Human Scale, in person.  Tickets have been selling like hot cakes, and over 1,000 people will now attend this one off evening of all things streets, people, cities and cycling.

We've been counting down the weeks till next Thursday's film night with a different urban planning TED Talk, and this week it is the turn of transport campaigner, "Better Block" coordinator and Dallas resident Jason Roberts.

A parade in downtown Dallas,  circa 1900, from The Commons on Flickr

If you're like me when you think of Dallas you think of enormous highways, sprawling ranch mansions, stetson hats and, um, J.R Ewing.  I certainly don't think of good urban planning practise and streetcars.  So what can a a sprawling city in Texas teach London, I hear you ask?  Read on, and find out...

We've featured Jason Robert's TED Talks here on ibikelondon before, back in 2012, but it provoked such an incredible reaction last time that we thought it was a fitting conclusion to our Friday TED Talk series.  At the time, commenters wrote "This guy should be voted in as the next president", and "it makes you realise everything can be changed".  
Why?  Because Jason is the embodiment of "being the change you want to see", and he's not just changing his surroundings, but empowering people to do the same all across America, and indeed the world.

If that's not a lesson for every livability campaigner going, I don't know what is.
Tune in, and enjoy some lunch time learning...

Jason Roberts is the co-ordinator of the Better Block project - check out a map of their grass roots projects here and their instructions for a better city block here.

Why not check out our previous Friday TED Talks?

Jeff Speck lays out his vision for the walkable city
James Howard Kunstler on the ghastly tragedy of American suburbs
Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the year big data went global (and how cyclists were involved)
NYC transport commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan on New York's not so mean streets

Mia Birk on getting Portland Oregon to pedal more, and gaining health along the way.

Jan Gehl will present "The Human Scale" at Hackney Empire Theatre on January 23rd 2014 - buy your tickets online now. 

If you can't make it, the film is available to buy on DVD in the UK here

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